The Divine Way
Excerpts from talks given by Bubba Free John to his
devotees in 1973 and 1974
DEVOTEE: If God is here already then why is the
BUBBA: Because you don’t see it. You don’t know
God. You think you are someplace and God is someplace
DEVOTEE: You actually make us see?
BUBBA: True. Through the process of the crisis
that is awakened in Satsang you begin to intuit the
dimension in which you really exist. Without the service of
the Guru function, you perceive this world in itself, in
mystery, with unconsciousness, without any idea whatsoever
of what your true Condition is. The Guru is just a bit of
business. The only reason he exists is to produce a crisis
in consciousness in which you break away from your
identification with what is arising, and begin to fall in on
your true Nature. And by that process you begin to intuit
and then also cognize where you really are.
The Guru can realize his identity with another, and then
go about meditating in a very natural way, and his
meditation becomes the meditation of that one, literally. It
is because this possibility exists, and because it can be
controlled and literally used, that this Siddhi that is
lived in Satsang can do what it does. If the Guru could not
realize his identity with his devotee, the devotee could
never enjoy his Guru as the Divine. It is not the devotee
who, through effort, realizes his non-separation from God.
It is the Guru who lives his devotee as non-separate from
God, and that becomes spontaneous knowledge in his devotee.
The Guru first transforms his devotee. Then his devotee
begins to realize, what has happened.
So the Guru doesn’t operate by giving his devotee a
method to realize oneness with God. It is a hopeless task. A
process must be created wherein the Divine can enact his
oneness with his devotee, and then the devotee, depending on
the degree of his intelligence, sooner or later realizes
that that is the case. And that is how the principle of
Satsang works. That is what makes it different from the
principle of the search.
In the search you begin separate, or at least considering
yourself to be separate, or unenlightened, and you
strategically work to realize oneness, identity, union. You
essentially do this by methodically and strategically
duplicating the experiential path whereby some other
individual realized such oneness, or felt he did, or
intuited something about it. All the paths generated in the
traditions are essentially means for duplicating the
experience of some extraordinary person who claimed to have
realized the Divine by that very path of experience.
But the Divine way that continually enter into the human
world is one in which this dilemma, on the basis of which
the search is generated, is undone from the beginning. A new
condition is established from the beginning of the true
spiritual path. That condition is in itself without dilemma,
without separation. That is Satsang.
I couldn’t care less about creating an organization of
solemn or silly people. It has no value to me. The world is
already solemn and silly, and I’d rather be away from it. I
would rather play like a madman with a few, until they begin
to awaken, and then let them serve the world. That is the
way I do it.
Therefore, I make demands that are not easily met. It is
not as if you come here, receive an initiation, feel holy
and quiet, and have a grand weekend. It is difficult to be
involved in this Ashram. There is a lot that is offensive
about it. I know how offensive and difficult it is, so I
make demands that most people are not interested in dealing
with. They feel those demands before they even get anywhere
close, so you do not see thousands of people coming here. I
am interested only in the creation of devotees.
DEVOTEE: Is the Siddhi like a thread connecting
the devotees and yourself?
BUBBA: Yes. That is the medium. It is a conscious
thread of attention, not an astral thread or something like
that. It may make use of some subtle and vital connections,
but the fundamental thread that I am talking about is one in
consciousness, and it is a form of attention, of love, of
devotion. That is the thread. If that does not exist, all
the other kinds of connection, karmic and otherwise, are
dead. There must be the life of the devotee, the thread of
love, of real attention, and he must be willing to suffer
the condition of such attention.
The individual by tendency doesn’t want his attention
placed on anything but himself. He is a self-meditator, he
is Narcissus, and he is continually creating a hedge about
himself. The demand for attention on a conscious being
outside his self-acknowledgment is taboo. That is the
fundamental thing he fears. But the awakening of a devotee
requires that turning, that upset in Narcissus. Only one
who, has begun to suffer his own game at the pond will be
willing even to begin to make such a crisis of turning grow
and intensify. Then he begins to require it and demand it as
a responsibility. He intensifies that drama more and more,
until that attention is perfected, and there is no one
looking in the pond any more.
The Guru is the living manifestation of the Principle of
this universe, so his activity is always paradoxical. His
activity is not a reflection of his fixed quality. It is
always an expression of his transcendent activity in
relation to someone else’s fixed quality. The Guru is always
working to undermine the usual quality of his devotee, so he
takes on qualities over against his devotee, in order to
observe the crises in him. If you took all the Guru’s words
together, you would eventually find him saying everything.
All the contradictions would come through him as Truth.
The Guru is not a common word, a one-sided word against
which there are a whole bunch of words that are
contradictory. The Guru is a process, an activity. His words
merely serve that activity, and his words might contradict
one another, depending on the situation in which he is
acting. You can generally see a certain comprehensible form
in the Guru’s communication, but his activity is essentially
paradoxical. And the purpose of his speech is not to inform
you with some solid mass of thinking to which you can oppose
all other kinds of thinking. His activity is to serve the
crisis in you. And when the crisis occurs, it becomes
obvious that all thinking is obsolete as an expression of
So the Guru is not a fixed quality. The Guru is a
paradoxical process. And the Guru isn’t obliged to try to be
right. Why should he have to be right? How ridiculous. Why
not be wrong? It is amusing. Part of the Guru’s work is, at
times, to purposely be wrong in the eyes of his devotee,
because of the game that his devotee will play if he sees
his Guru is wrong. So in order to serve his devotees, the
Guru must have the freedom to be wrong. He would never
permanently mislead someone, but in order to free a person
from some particular quality, he may contradict himself, say
something wrong, be wrong, be foolish, lose face.
He must be free to take on any quality. How can he serve
everyone, even the world itself, if he can’t be free to take
on every quality? The Guru himself is not identical to any
quality, any more than Truth itself, the Divine Person, is
identical to any quality. Every quality is appropriate for
the True One.